Lake Dis­trict

Trail (UK) - - Lake District -

1 SD436859 From the car park (use the road­side if it's full), head north-east down the lane, through a kiss­ing gate and carry on un­til the field widens on your left. Turn left with the fence to a gate which ac­cesses the per­mis­sive wood­land path; con­tinue on this for 1.6km to a path junc­tion and way­marker (be­ware – it can be a lit­tle over­grown and easy to miss in sum­mer).

SD434876 Turn 2 right up a track as it zigzags up­hill. Pass through a gate and con­tinue on the same path up the side of a small scree-filled gully to the top of the woods. When the path splits by an old mine level, head left and fol­low the path along the wall to its far cor­ner. From here, turn right up the ob­vi­ous track through trees, even­tu­ally climb­ing to the huge cairn of Lord's Seat, the main sum­mit, with all-round views of the Lake Dis­trict, Howgills, Dales and Morecambe Bay to the south.

SD441870 From here 3 it's sim­ply a case of fol­low­ing the same path across the top of the open lime­stone plateau, not for­get­ting to check in on the view be­hind ev­ery now and again! Keep an eye out for in­ter­est­ing flora and fauna, and tread care­fully – Whit­bar­row is one of the finest lime­stone habi­tats around and hosts a num­ber of rare species, recog­nised by its SSSI sta­tus. The path you’re on un­du­lates slightly, dip­ping down and back up again, pass­ing some crags, to a stile.

SD446860 Cross it, 4 and once more keep fol­low­ing this path – you can see the grand Wither­slack Hall, some­what hid­den at the start point, from the es­carp­ment just past the stile. In just over 1.2km, with views of the Kent Es­tu­ary ahead, the path bends more no­tice­ably to the right and drops you back into the trees to a gate. Go through it, but turn im­me­di­ately left and back through an­other gap in the same wall. The path con­tin­ues down, slightly rocky and nar­row at times, travers­ing wooded hill­side to a path junc­tion. Turn left, soon cross­ing the first sec­tion of open bedrock, then con­tinue un­til the ground opens out again in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion with the high­est cliffs tow­er­ing above. This im­pres­sive land­scape, home to pere­grine fal­cons, has been created by glacial ero­sion and later quar­ry­ing.

SD460852 If it's 5 bone dry, you can cre­ate a cir­cu­lar route by con­tin­u­ing down to Raven's Lodge then head­ing right on the bri­dle­way run­ning al­most par­al­lel to the path. Oth­er­wise, it's usu­ally too slip­pery for words, so far eas­ier to re­trace your steps back to the path junc­tion, then con­tinue ahead and down, fol­low­ing the white ar­rows, to join the afore­men­tioned bri­dle­way. Go right, to the next track junc­tion.

SD449844 The 6 bri­dle­way ends here al­though, should you need it, the on­ward lane leads to­wards the bus stop at Mill Side. Keep right on the pub­lic foot­path sign­posted Beck Head, which con­tin­ues along the bot­tom of the woods. It then swings left past a farm, to a road. Go right, with tar­mac be­com­ing gravel, past an­other farm and a self-ser­vice tea barn. Fork left where the lane splits, and keep go­ing to an­other road; a right turn here takes you back to Wither­slack Hall.

Birch wood­land on the as­cent.

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